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Fitness and Nutrition Books


What are some of the great books and references (non internet) you guys would recommend for every beginner, intermediate, and/or advanced trainee?

Keep in mind I’m more strength and performance based rather than physique focused in my training…

Here’s just a few I’ve read and love with short reviews…

Starting Strength 2nd Edition - Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore.
Love the book. Even though I knew a lot of it being in the business it was still great to read and tweak some of the basics just a bit. I think the diagrams and rationales are well thought out and obviously tested (in his lab called the gym).

Maximum Strength - Eric Cressey
Eric’s always an entertaining writer. I have yet to give the program a try (I am scheduled to start it in 5 weeks once I’m done with my current one). With pictures and descriptions the warmup section is a must read as I’ve adopted some with clients and myself already. The program is well constructed and organized. My training philosophies run pretty parallel to Cressey’s but this book just helped me adjust some techniques and programming for me and my clients. Good job Eric!

Low Back Disorders: Evidence-based Prevention and Rehabilitation - Stuart McGill
Can’t say enough. As a trainer it is a must read! If you have a back injury or you are looking for ways to protect your back pick this book up. If you don’t walk away from this book much more knowledgeable about training and biomechanics you are either learning disabled or already an expert in the area.

The Journal of Strength and Condition Research - NSCA
I’m a nerd and biased but this takes the cake as far as research journals go for performance (there are still a bunch of other great ones that I’m doing a disservice by not mentioning.)

150 Healthiest Foods - Jonny Bowden
Very informative. Reinforced many of my views on nutrition but gave great full page descriptions in detail about each food. I like how he had many experts also list their top foods.

Starting Strength is excellent.

I’m assuming you were talking about Cressey’s Maximum Strength. Not only is this program forcing me to warm up adequately and correctly, it’s made me rethink the way I train. I’m in week 6 and I’m really enjoying it.

McGill’s book seems like something I should definitely look into. I’m also planning on picking up some Jonny Bowden stuff.

I really have nothing to add, just agreeing with your selection.

Do people still buy books these days? The only one I’ve ever bought was Critical Mass POF. Oh, and not really a book but Cybergenics Phase 1. Amazingly, I still have the booklet after all these years. Good stuff… :wink:

I’m afraid I’m a bit of a book junkie.

I’ve got and read through Eric Cressey’s Maximum Strength book, liked the book, easy to read and did follow the initial 4 week strength phase, but found all of the foam roller work and warm up phase time consuming when I’d rather be lifting. I know its important, but personally I’d prefer to throw some foam roller work in on my off days. I’ll probably go back to it and run through it again with a cut down warm up.

(Note: I’m not claiming to know better than Cressey, and I do realise the value of foam roller and the various warm up exercises, but I work out in the mornings and have limited time, and did find myself having to cut some of the workouts short to get to work on time. Given the choice between missing some lifting and missing some warm up, I’ll skip the warm up every time. May explain why I constantly feel so beat up…)

I’ve also read and followed The New Rules of Lifting by Cosgrove and Schuler. Again, good book, easy to read and absorb the knowledge. I like the modular approach to workouts, and the limited warm up phase.

One thing that I did like a lot was the 2-4 week break in workouts. I know someone who’s been lifting for a while shouldn’t theoretically need these, but I’ve found myself going back to them a few times when I’m between programs for a few weeks, just to let my body recover some.

Chad Waterbury’s Muscle Revolution book I really enjoyed reading, and found very informative and interesting, but haven’t actually tried any of his workouts yet. I haven’t read this one in a little while, so can’t remember what’s in the book, and what I picked up from his London seminar.

The next additions to my collection are hopefully one of Stuart McGills books, and the DVD put together to support cancer research (I can’t remember the name of it and haven’t got round to ordering a copy yet, if anyone can send me a link to it, save me hunting around, I promise to buy a copy or two by the weekend).

In closing, yes, I’m a book whore.

[quote]wfifer wrote:
Starting Strength is excellent.

I’m assuming you were talking about Cressey’s Maximum Strength. Not only is this program forcing me to warm up adequately and correctly, it’s made me rethink the way I train. I’m in week 6 and I’m really enjoying it.
[/quote]

Oh yeah its a typo

Starting Strength, Maximum Strength, and 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth were all very solid books. My gains on Maximum Strength were incredible (of course I had to go and destroy my thumb on the second to last week), and Starting Strength is probably the single best resource for any aspiring coach.

The 150 Healthiest Foods is a great book too, makes swallowing all the bullshit in my Human Nutrition class right now all the harder.

Now for some additions- keep in mind that these are just the ones that I have that I feel like mentioning lol.

Black Book of Training Secrets, Theory and Application of Modern Strength and Power Methods. These are both of Christian Thib’s major books and they have page after page of applicable information. Highly recommended.

Gourmet Nutrition. Berardi’s cookbook, there’s some delicious shit in there.

Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance. I haven’t picked up Low Back Disorders, but this is a nice piece of work by McGill with some interesting research. If you’re familiar with Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson’s work however they’ve both taken McGill and applied it quite well already.

Relax Into Stretch. Probably the best of Pavel’s work, very good training information no useless product pushing bullshit. A lot of focus on PNF/Contract Relax type stretching.

Stretch to Win. Very interesting book on stretching and the fascial system.

Ross Enamait’s works. Fantastic, innovative and resourceful. Good for athletes and powerlifters, not sure how useful they would be for bodybuilders though.

The Art of the Deload. Just a short ebook by Eric Cressey, but it touches on a rarely discussed topic and addresses it in multiple ways.

I’m keeping Supertraining off the list just because it is one of the densest texts ever created, and most of the applicable information in it is in Christian Thib’s books.

I also have Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes, Science and Practice of Strength Training and Anatomy Trains on the way.

[quote]AssOnGrass wrote:
Low Back Disorders: Evidence-based Prevention and Rehabilitation - Stuart McGill
Can’t say enough. As a trainer it is a must read! If you have a back injury or you are looking for ways to protect your back pick this book up.

If you don’t walk away from this book much more knowledgeable about training and biomechanics you are either learning disabled or already an expert in the area.
[/quote]

Did you find it an easy read? All the reviews on Amazon claim its a must read for doctors and PT’s. I’d hate to get the book and have no idea what is being talked about and not be able to grasp anything. The only reason I ask is because super training was a little more than what I expected when I bought it.

Starting Strength is fantastic, I think everyone needs it, beginners and advanced lifters. The information is just solid.

Scrawny to Brawny - John Beradi, pretty decent for beginners. It starts you off if you have never lifted weights before, and if you have, has programs to correct inbalances and contains 4 1month programs which are designed similiar to CT’s beast building(CNS, Strength, Mass). Other half covers nutrition.

Education of a bodybuilder - Arnold, good for motivation and if your a fan

Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding - Arnold again. This book is like 800pages, full of pictures and info about each and every muscle, exercies, nutrition, posing and basically everything to do with bodybuilding. While nothing ground breaking, a good addition.

I liked the Vertical Jump Bible as well, Kelly Bagget has some interesting views and his article collection is very nice.